2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Santee, CA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Santee.
You'll learn about:
- Local & State Solar Incentives
- Federal Tax Credits (Updated for 2023 and beyond)
- Ways to optimize your solar investment
Solar installers are experts in maximizing your solar tax credits and rebates.
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By EcoWatch Local Advisors
Data Analysis: James Savino
Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister
Updated March 14, 2023
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What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Santee?
Property Tax Exclusion for Solar Energy Systems and Solar Plus Storage System
Western Riverside Council of Governments - Home Energy Renovation Opportunity (HERO) Financing Program
Minimum financing: $5,000
The financing may not exceed fifteen percent (15%) of the market value of the property, up to the first seven hundred thousand dollars ($700,000) of the property’s market value, and ten percent (10%) of the remaining value of the Property above seven hundred thousand dollars ($700,000) minus any PACE assessment on the property The total amount of any annual property taxes and assessments shall not exceed five percent (5%) of the property's fair market value, determined at the time program financing is approved.
Local Option - Municipal Energy Districts
Self-Generation Incentive Program
Incentives will step down over time. See below for incentive amounts.
Renewable Market Adjusting Tariff (ReMAT)
LADWP - Feed-in Tariff (FiT) Program
Base price will step down over time as certain MW goals are met
California Solar Initiative - Solar Thermal Program
Single Family Residential Incentives:
Systems that displace natural gas: $29.85 per estimated therm displaced
Systems that displace electricity or propane: Funding has been exhausted
Systems that displace natural gas: $20.19 per estimated therm displaced
Systems that displace electricity or propane: $0.42 per estimated kWh displaced *** Note, funding has been exhausted in this category for SCE and PG&E
Solar Pool heating: $5.00 per estimated therm displaced
Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
Solar incentives are intended to encourage people to switch their home over to renewable energy by offering incentives meant to lower the financial burden of solar panel installation and use. The incentives might include cash back, upfront discounts or credit towards your monthly utility bill. Some incentives are provided by the federal government, some by the state of California and some by your specific utility company, county or municipality. Some broad categories of solar incentives include:
- Rebates: Solar rebates can be provided by your state or county, or by your local utility company. These rebates are essentially partial refunds that are applied after your purchase of solar panels and before tax credits are calculated.
- Tax Credits: Different from tax deductions, tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions in the amount of income tax that you owe the federal government.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs are credits that can be sold to your utility company (or other buyers) for cash that typically becomes part of your taxable income. In most cases, a certain (small) threshold of energy production must be met before your solar system can earn SRECs or similar performance-based incentives. These kinds of incentives are normally handled at the state level.
- Tax Exemptions: Your solar panel system could qualify for exemptions on both sales and property tax. Sales tax exemptions are effective at the time of purchase. Property tax exemptions let you exclude the value added by your solar panels when calculating property taxes on your house.
- Net Metering: Net metering becomes relevant once your solar system is up and running. If you have in place a net metering agreement with your Santee utility company, it will subtract the value of the excess energy your solar system produces from your utility bill each month. In some locations, this is a dollar-for-dollar credit, while in others you may make back a percentage of the value.
Federal Solar Incentives
When you think about solar incentives, you likely think of federal incentives first. You've likely heard of the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC. This incentive is a tax credit equal to a predetermined percentage of the money you spend on solar panels for your home.
The ITC applies to solar panels installed after January 1, 2006 on a primary or secondary residence in the United States that you own. The credit initially covered 30% of the total cost — for panels, labor, accessories and equipment — although it may range from 26-30%, depending on when your solar project was undertaken. There is no cap on the claim amount.
Have questions about how the ITC applies to your specific situation? Reach out to your local Santee solar panel installation expert to get more information.
In August 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act made revisions to the ITC, now referred to as the Clean Energy Credit. The Clean Energy Credit lasts until 2035. Solar installation projects started after January 1, 2022 and completed by the end of 2032 may qualify for a 30% tax credit; this amount will be decreased slightly each year until the end of the current program. Starting in 2023, the expansion to the program will also make it easier to get credit for energy storage systems.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. Your local Santee solar panel company can answer any questions you have and explain how the new Clean Energy Credit may apply to you.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Rebates, tax credits and more might be claimed at multiple levels. Along with federal solar incentives, there are often state and local ones as well. Incentives might be given by your county or municipality, or by the state of California. Certain incentives might only be available for a limited time, while others are ongoing.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Santee
Solar incentives can be offered by the federal government, the California government or your local utility company. The variety of solar incentives available has helped nationwide use of solar energy increase greatly in the last 15 years. We suggest talking to your local Santee solar installation expert to learn more about these incentives and to be sure that you're getting the largest number possible for your solar system.
Best Regional Coverage
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EcoWatch's Santee, CA Solar Incentives FAQs
If I installed solar panels on my house a few years ago, can I still claim incentives?
An excellent idea would be to talk to a representative from the company that installed your system — or reach out to a local Santee solar installer — to better understand which incentives you may qualify for. If your system was installed after January 1, 2022, you likely qualify for the recently increased 30% tax credit under the Inflation Reduction Act. Solar panels installed between 2006 and 2021 may qualify for a tax credit of 26-30%.
What are the highest-rated solar panel installation companies near me?
To discover the best solar panel installers near you, take a look at our article on the top solar companies in Santee.
How long until the federal solar tax credit ends?
The Clean Energy Credit (previously referred to as the federal solar tax credit, or ITC), is slated to end on January 1, 2035. Currently set at 30%, the credit will drop to 26% in 2033 and to 22% in 2034.
I want to change out my appliances for ones that are more energy-efficient. Are there any credits I can claim?
The recently passed Inflation Reduction Act includes provisions for a number of incentives that reward homeowners for making eco-friendly upgrades. Some of these incentives include tax credits and rebates for installing new electric appliances. You can find more details about these incentives here.
Our goal is to reach as many people as we can with sensible solutions like solar energy. Our team of full-time local researchers collects solar price and installation data for every city in America then compiles it to create these digestible city guides. If you want to read our solar expert's opinion on the top solar companies featured here, follow this link.
Solar incentive research was conducted by Melissa Smith and Karsten Neumeister. Local data analysis was conducted by James Savino. See something we missed or could do better? Email the editor.